The latest in Piñatex technology, we are proud to introduce the next generation of pineapple leather into our range, Piñatex Performance. Finding natural materials that don’t compromise people or the planet has always been the basis for our designs, so this new and improved vegan friendly material is an exciting addition.
This new material optimises durability in terms of resistance to abrasion and water repellency, making it ideal for a few of our new pieces that we will be launching throughout August as part of the New Zealand Fashion Week 2021 collection 'A New Dawn'.
*Update - whilst New Zealand Fashion Week was postponed due to Covid-19, we have continued to launch this new line of vegan pineapple leather styles, and released it on our NZ Fashion Week catwalk in Feb 2022, in 'Life-Changing Fashion'. You can watch the show here!
"Design is not just about product. Design is about responsibility". - Dr Carmen Hijosa
So what is Piñatex?
An innovative material made from discarded pineapple leaves, Piñatex is a by-product of existing agriculture. Made by a fellow B Corporation called Ananas Anam, founder Dr. Carmen Hijosa developed the material in the 90's when she was in the Philippines in response to realising we needed a PVC alternative that was better for the environment. Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.
How is it made?
After pineapple harvest, plant leaves which are left behind are collected in bundles and the long fibres are extracted using semi-automatic machines. The fibres are washed then dried naturally by the sun, or during the rainy season in drying ovens. Once leaves have been stripped of fibre the leftover biomass can be used as a nutrient-rich natural fertiliser or a biofuel, so nothing is wasted.
The dry fibres go through a purification process to remove any impurities which results in a fluff-like material. This fluff-like pineapple leaf fibre (PALF) gets mixed with a corn based polylactic acid (PLA) and undergoes a mechanical process to create Piñafelt, a non-woven mesh which forms the base of all Piñatex materials. The rolls of Piñafelt are then shipped by boat from the Philippines to Spain or Italy for specialised finishing, where a high solid PU transfer coating is used to create Piñatex Performance.
What's the environmental impact?
In making Piñatex, 825 tons of waste leaves from the pineapple harvest have been saved – the burning of which would usually release the equivalent of 264 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
This is equivalent to charging more than 33 million smartphones!
And that's why we love it!
Our new pineapple leather features a pebbled grain texture and unique subtle crinkled appearance. It's strong, durable and water resistant. When you wear it you know that you've done good for the people making it and for the planet.
Which pieces use Piñatex Performance?
We have several new releases made from this innovative new material. The first drop of the new collection 'A New Dawn' is out now. Meet The Harriet here. Our second release in this new material is The Clara. Keep your eyes peeled for more.